How to Remove Typewriter Ink

By Charlie Bradley

Updated September 26, 2017

Typewriter ribbons contain ink, which can cause stains when the ribbons are being changed.
i old fashioned typewriter image by timur1970 from

Accidentally staining clothing, skin and surfaces such as tables can be easy to do when changing a typewriter ribbon. Removing typewriter ink stains from clothing, skin and other surfaces can be achieved in a few steps. You must act as quickly as possible after the stain occurs, to prevent the stain from setting and becoming a permanent part of whatever it is on.

Typewriter Ink Stains on Skin and Surfaces

Rub the skin and the surface with undiluted rubbing alcohol to penetrate the typewriter ink stain.

Use a clean washcloth soaked in hot water to rub the stain in clockwise circular motions. This helps to dilute the ink while attracting the stain to the washcloth.

Allow the alcohol and water to penetrate the stain for five minutes. Use another washcloth to remove the stain.

Use hot water to rinse away the ink as well as the rubbing alcohol.
i just a sink image by Pix by Marti from

Run hot water in a sink. Vigorously rub the hands under the hot water for 30 seconds to rinse away any remaining traces of the ink.

Allow the hands and the surface to air-dry.

Typewriter Ink Stains in Clothing

Soak the stained area of the clothing in rubbing alcohol. Allow the rubbing alcohol to penetrate the stain thoroughly.

Pre-treat the ink stain with laundry detergent.
i Cleaning materials image by TekinT from

Rub the soaked stain with a washcloth to which you have applied laundry detergent.

Wash the stained garment by itself.
i washing machine image by andrey polichenko from

Wash the garment in the washing machine according to the garment care instructions. Wash the garment by itself if you can, in order to prevent the stain from affecting other articles of clothing.

Items you will need

  • Rubbing alcohol

  • Washcloth

  • Laundry detergent